Mar 00

and here it is.. your moment of zen

sometimes i am lucky enough to stumble into pure happiness, moments that seem to last forever, that are, for lack of a better word, perfect.

alcoholics call them moments of clarity. i’d like to call them moments of zen, if comedy central hadn’t appropriated the term for the daily show. the buddhist in me might see these as glimpses of nirvana – the reward for pure living and meditation.

whatever term i decide upon, it seems that sometimes i find myself in a world exactly like the one i see when i close my eyes and imagine the world being a better place. there’s nothing i need to do, nowhere i need to go to. i’m not hungry or thirsty, and nothing is urgent.

the proper state of mind is essential. without realizing it, i have slipped into a place where i can look at the world around me and say “well, that’s alright then.” these are the moments when people decide to sell all their belongings, move to the nearest coast, and enjoy the slower pace of life along the boundary

the temperature is just right, that perfect amount of warmth without being too hot, maybe there’s a breeze. maybe the sun is shining, but not so brightly that it hurts my eyes.

the sounds of the rest of humanity have faded away, and the constant hum of traffic or people only occasionally drifts by in a haze of white noise.

very often these moments involve being outdoors, moreso in the spring.

most importantly, i’m wearing comfortable shoes.

Mar 00

drug induced philosophy

met an artist

at a bar

cocky bastard. goatee.

spouting his own drug-induced visions as philosophy – as if i haven’t gotten enough of that from high school

yes, humanity, and life itself, is a cancer. yes, an infection in the organism of the universe. stars and galaxies, the cells in the body of God. bla bla woof woof. you think that’s an original one? you think the great minds of history, let alone one of my hash-crazed comrades sophomore year, haven’t bothered to come up with that one before?

so me, devil’s advocate (in case you haven’t been reading, hi.) i tell him that the real evil in the universe is perspective.

if you ever were to try and imagine infinity (go ahead. really try it. it’ll make your brain hurt) or think on more than three dimensions (four isn’t hard, if you take the easy way out and imagine time as number 4. try 5 some time) then you’ll see what i’m getting at.

realize once and for all just how tiny and insignificant you are in the grand scope of the universe, or, to take a religious slant on things, in all of God’s Creation – it’s a truly world-shaking experience. in some small way, similar to surviving a plane crash, it makes you think.

like the bouncing goatee attached to the artist’s face was saying, you are like a muscle cell, one of millions upon millions, wiling away your life in your own seemingly important pursuits, but really just a tiny, insignificant cell in a tremendous organism that wouldn’t even notice the difference if you had never existed.

perspective. get some.

so, devil’s advocate (hi) i tell him my personal slant. can’t help it.

the universe is only the things i experience. my own senses tell me what is. all else simply.. isn’t.

and thus, i solve the problem of perspective. here i am, the center of my universe. whatever i decide to believe in, it’s up to me.

big or small, i am at the center of my universe.

then i go to the bathroom, and when i come back, he suddenly throws this thing at me about my being insecure.

next time i see him, i’ll tell him reality is truly zero-dimensional. and prove it.

silly artist

Mar 00

my hometown

Recently, a friend sent this my way, and i thought i might share it with my regular readers – namely that one guy in New Zealand. You know who you are.

While I currently reside in Raleigh, NC, i come originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, GA, a peculiar town with a blend of southern tradition and metropolitan sensibilities.

And so here is “A Guide to Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta is composed almost entirely of one-way streets, all of which are named “Peachtree (something),” and change names at least once before reaching their terminus or the city limits. The only reliable way to find one’s way out of downtown Atlanta is to turn around and start over once you reach Greenville, South Carolina.

All directions start with, “Go down Peachtree….” and include the phrase, “When you see the Waffle House….” (except in Cobb County, where all directions begin with, “Go to the Big Chicken…”)

Atlantans only know their way to work and their way home. If you ask anyone for directions, they will always send you down “Peachtree”.

The City Planners of Atlanta have intentionally made it physically impossible to drive around one block and wind up on the street you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this concept a “scenic drive” and has posted signs to that effect so that out-of-towners don’t feel lost… they’re just on a “scenic drive”.

Outside of the Perimeter, “Sir” and “Ma’am” become common use in casual conversation if there’s a remote possibility that the person being addressed is 30 minutes older than the person speaking.

Ponce de Leon Avenue can only be pronouned by a native, so do not attempt the traditional Spanish pronunciation. Natives will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you. (The Atlanta pronounciation is “pahnss duh LEE-on” or simply “Ponce“.)

If you notice that all the drivers on the road with you seem to immediately forget all traffic rules, this is likely the result of a single drop of rain falling. Similar effects have been known to occur with daylight savings time, a girl applying eye shadow in the next car, or a flat tire three lanes over.

If a single snowflake falls, the city is paralyzed for three days and it becomes the lead news story on all the channels, and as a news flash every 15 minutes for a month. All the grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer if there is a remote chance of snow, and in the rare case of actual snowfall, people will be on the corner selling “I survived the blizzard” T-shirts.

It is always a Smog Alert Day.

Construction on Peachtree Street is a way of life, and a permanent form of entertainment, especially when a water line is tapped and Atlanta’s version of Old Faithful erupts.

Construction crews aren’t doing their job properly, and likely don’t get paid for the day unless they close down all lanes except one during rush hour.

The typical 8am rush hour is from 6:30am – 10:30am. The 5pm rush hour extends from 3:30pm to 7:30pm. Friday’s rush hour begins on Thursday morning and lasts through 2:00am Saturday.

So-called “reversible lanes” are a concept seemingly not understood by anyone in the state, especially those who live in the city limits of Atlanta. Stay out of them unless you’re looking for a head-on collision.

Atlantans are very proud of their race track, known as Road Atlanta. It winds throughout the city and on the Interstates, and, weekend or weekday, it’s always race day.

Interstate 285, the loop that encircles Atlanta and has a posted speed limit of 55 MPH (but you have to maintain the mandatory 80 MPH just to keep from getting run over), is known to truckers as “The Watermelon 500.” Georgia 400 is the southern U.S. equivalent of the Autobahn. You will rarely see an 18-wheeler on GA400, because even the truck drivers are intimidated by the oversized-SUV-wielding housewives racing from home after a grueling day at the salon or ALTA match to meet their children at the school bus coming home from their college-prep preschool.

The pollen count is off the national scale for unhealthy, which starts at 120 – Atlanta is usually in the 2,000 to 4,000 range. All roads, vehicles, houses, etc. are yellow from March 28th to July 15th. If you have any allergies at all, you will die.

Atlantans, moreso than the residents of most other metropolitan areas, do not believe in turn signals. You will never see a native signal a turn at a stop light, to change lanes, or to merge. Never. Ever.

Atlanta is home of the international Coca-Cola Bottling Company. That’s all we drink here, so don’t even bother to ask for any other brand of soft drink, unless it’s made by Coca-Cola. And even then, it’s still called “Coke”.

Gate 1 at the Atlanta airport is roughly 32 miles from the Main Concourse, so wear sneakers and pack a lunch if you plan to fly into or out of Hartsfield. Also of note is the fact that the doors on the trains in the airport, unlike those of an elevator, do _not_ reopen if you stick your hand or other body part between them as they close. And they hurt.